Desperation Breeds Contempt for Free Speech, Freedom Itself
Climate Change Weekly #189
There’s an old legal adage, “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table.” Climate alarmists have reached the point where they are not just pounding the table, they are breaking the table and using its pieces to pound on anyone who would dare dissent from the climate orthodoxy humans are causing catastrophic global warming.
Throughout 2015, in Climate Change Weekly, Environment & Climate News, and other outlets, I have described instances where alarmists tried to use the force of law to suppress debate, threatening the jobs and very freedom of climate skeptics or climate realists like myself. In the August issue of Environment & Climate News, David Legates discussed how he was removed from his position as Delaware state climatologist for his views on climate science. And earlier this year I described witch hunts launched by members of Congress against climate researchers who have disagreed with the Obama administration, and the institutions employing them, demanding they reveal any and all funding for their work and any emails, research, or exchanges possibly related to testimony they gave to Congress.
This suppression of legitimate dissent is not limited to the United States. The Telegraph recently reported France’s top television weatherman has been fired for criticizing the international climate change experts in a promotional video he produced to publicize his book, Climate Investigation. Author Philippe Verdier, weather chief at France Télévisions, the country’s state broadcaster, says leading climatologists and political leaders have “taken the world hostage” using misleading data. Verdier wrote, “We are hostage to a planetary scandal over climate change – a war machine whose aim is to keep us in fear.” For his efforts to confront climate alarmism, Verdier was suspended. And this in France, the country where just months ago thousands took to the streets to defend free speech in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations by Islamic terrorists.
Just two weeks ago in Climate Change Weekly I noted alarmists are calling for the International Court of Criminal Justice to settle the science of climate change, while in the United States some researchers are calling for racketeering trials for climate skeptics.
Intimidation and persecution of climate skeptics is not new. More than a decade ago some alarmists started to call for Nuremberg-type trials for climate realists. But lately, the voices have become more shrill, and the use of intimidation and the threat of force become more immediate. I attribute this ratcheting up of the pressure on climate realists to three factors. First, measurable facts on the ground are increasingly undermining the so-called scientific consensus humans are causing climate change. Temperature increases have stalled while atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have grown. In addition, polar ice has recovered and hurricane numbers and intensity continue to fall well below historic averages. All of these facts confound climate models: The gap between climate model predictions and actual temperature measurements grows larger.
Second, polls demonstrate climate realists are winning the battle for the public’s hearts and minds. Fear of climate change ranks at or near the bottom of people’s public policy concerns, and very few people consider a candidate’s views on climate change an important factor when they vote.
Third, the 21st United Nations climate conference (COP 21) is coming up, and like every conference since the 2007 one in Kyoto it seems doomed to fail to produce a binding treaty restricting fossil fuel use and expanding governments’ controls over the world economy.
I long for the days when liberals were liberal. It’s time for climate alarmists and the politicians who follow their diktats like lap-dogs to brush up on their John Stuart Mill:
This, then, is the appropriate region of human liberty. It comprises, first, the inward domain of consciousness; demanding liberty of conscience, in the most comprehensive sense; liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, moral, or theological. The liberty of expressing and publishing opinions … [is] almost of as much importance as the liberty of thought itself, and resting in great part on the same reasons, is practically inseparable from it.
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.
— H. Sterling Burnett
IN THIS ISSUE …
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology Committee, sent a letter to Dr. Jagadish Shukla, a professor of climate dynamics at George Mason University who founded the non-profit Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES), notifying him IGES may be investigated for its support of suppressing the work of skeptical climate researchers. Shukla is the lead author of a letter posted on IGES’s website signed by 20 climate scientists sent in September to President Barack Obama encouraging the Obama administration’s Justice Department to open Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) investigations into the work of individuals, organizations, and companies opposed to Obama’s actions on climate change.
Smith’s letter notes, “IGES appears to be almost fully funded by taxpayer money while simultaneously participating in partisan political activity by requesting a RICO investigation of companies and organizations that disagree with the Obama administration on climate change. In fact, IGES has reportedly received $63 million from taxpayers since 2001, comprising over 98 percent of its total revenue during that time.”
Because IGES removed the letter from its website and may be investigated, Smith directs IGES to preserve “all e-mail, electronic documents, and data created since January 1, 2009, that can be reasonably anticipated to be subject to a request for production by the Committee.”
The old saying, “what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander,” comes to mind.
In a new study for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Indur Goklany, Ph.D. shows the increase in carbon dioxide levels during the past half century is good for humans, other animals, and plants. Goklany reports, “Carbon dioxide fertilizes plants, and emissions from fossil fuels have already had a hugely beneficial effect on crops, increasing yields by at least 10–15 percent.” The value added by increased carbon dioxide to global crop production tops $140 billion per year, with the additional production helping to reduce world hunger. Goklany also notes increased carbon dioxide has been good for wildlife and wildlands as well because, “an acre of land that is not used for crops is an acre of land that is left for nature.”
SOURCE: Global Warming Policy Foundation
At a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts hearing titled “Opportunity Denied: How Overregulation Harms Minorities,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who chaired the hearing, said overregulation robs minority Americans of opportunity. He blamed stagnant household income and slow job growth since the 2008 crash, in part, on overregulation and an “invasive and bloated government.” After noting the number of federal regulations increased dramatically in the past half-century, from 20,000 pages in the Federal Register to 175,000, Cruz remarked, “They seemingly regulate everything under the sun.”
Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club, testified the science linking human actions to dangerous global warming “is settled, … it’s not up for scientific debate.” In an exchange for which Mair clearly seemed unprepared, Cruz asked why, if humans are warming the planet, satellite date showed no planetary warming in the past 18 years. Mair seemed unfamiliar with that fact. When pressed by Cruz to say whether he would retract his statement about the science being settled if data proving the warming pause were provided to him, Mair remained silent. Cruz said, “You know, Mr. Mair, I find it striking that for a policy organization that purports to focus exclusively on environmental issues, that you are not willing to tell this committee that you would issue a retraction if your testimony is objectively false under scientific data.
“That undermines the credibility of any organization,” said Cruz. The Houston Chronicle put it best: Ted Cruz 1, Sierra Club 0.
Two papers by David Evans, Ph.D., a former climate modeler for the Australian government’s Greenhouse Office, are currently under review for publication and could undermine the most dramatic temperature predictions made by climate alarmists ahead of the United Nations’ climate change conference in Paris. Analyzing the architecture of the basic climate model underpinning U.N. climate predictions, Evans found the underlying physics of the model have been applied incorrectly, resulting in the U.N. over-estimating future global warming by as much as 10 times.
After fixing the two errors he found in the fundamental climate model, Evans concludes the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide is much lower than previously thought. Concerning his discovery, Evans states, “Yes, CO2 has an effect, but it’s about a fifth or tenth of what the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] says it is. CO2 is not driving the climate; it caused less than 20 per cent of the global warming in the last few decades.”
Evans’ discovery would explain why none of the climate models used by IPCC reflect actual recorded temperatures and why the models have failed to predict the 18-year pause in global warming. According to Evans, “Carbon dioxide causes only minor warming. The climate is largely driven by factors outside our control.” In particular, Evans points to the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun as the most significant driver of global temperature.
SOURCE: Northern Territory News
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